Why 'Top Chef' Star Antonia Lofaso Is on Ben Smith's 'Bachelorette' Hometown Date

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It's the crossover we never knew we needed, and it's happening Tuesday night on The Bachelorette. Top Chef star Antonia Lofaso makes an appearance on Ben Smith's "hometown" date with Tayshia Adams, representing a small but mighty crew of people closest to him. 

Ben told Tayshia she'd be meeting Antonia while simulating a Venice Beach date at La Quinta Resort & Club in Palm Springs. 

"I told you before, my life is full of strong, decisive, bold, independent women, and the two people you're going to meet today are my two favorite -- a really close family friend, her name is Antonia, she is with me more than anybody else. And you and her are eerily similar, it's incredible," he said. 

"My sister Madeline will be here. She's the one I told you about at our one-on-one date. She's the most incredible person I've ever met, so I'm so excited you get to meet her," Ben added. "My parents, they weren't able to make it because of COVID and my dad's a doctor." 

Ben isn't the only contestant whose parents weren't able to make it, but the choice to bring in Antonia might have been surprising to fans. Turns out the chef -- who has appeared on Chopped, Cutthroat Kitchen and Restaurant Startup and is co-owner and executive chef at L.A. restaurants Black Market Liquor Bar, Scopa Italian Roots and DAMA -- is trained by Ben at his gym, Deuce. 

The pair have made several appearances on each other's Instagrams over the years, and Ben gave her a sweet shout-out for her birthday in November. 

"Happy Birthday Antonia, I love you very much. Thank you for being you 💜," he wrote alongside a video. 

The Bachelorette airs Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.

The finale will air over two nights next week, on Mondays and Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC. ET's Lauren Zima will be recapping everything that goes down, directly after each episode. Watch ET Live on your Roku, Apple TV or Amazon Fire TV or you can stream on Pluto TV and Samsung TV Plus.

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